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Porcelain

By:Alice
Chinese porcelain refers to porcelain made in China. In English, "Porcelain" is the same as "China". China is the hometown of porcelain, which is an important creation of ancient working people. The predecessor of porcelain is the original celadon, which is the product of the transition from pottery to porcelain. China's earliest primitive celadon, found in the East Longshan Cultural Site in Xia County, Shanxi Province, about 4200 years ago. Vessels have pots and bowls. Primitive celadon is widely distributed in China, and is found in the Yellow River, the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze river and the south.


History of Chinese Porcelain
About 7,000 or 8,000 years ago, during the Neolithic Age, people of the Yellow River valley began to make pottery with crude techniques. In the Yangshao Civilization, Qujialing Civilization, Hemudu Civilization, Dawenkou Civilization and other Neolithic Sites, unearthed a large number of potteries, including gray pottery, colored pottery, black pottery, geometric pottery and so on.
A large number of unearthed artifacts indicate that glass glazes were in use as early as the Shang Dynasty (16th-11th century BC). By the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC), Chinese porcelain was used in buildings such as tiles, eaves and nails. Later, during the Han Dynasty (202-220 BC), glazed pottery gradually replaced bronzes as everyday utensils, thus stimulating the emergence and development of Chinese porcelain.
Tang and Song Dynasties witnessed the rapid development of China's porcelain manufacturing. Tang Tri-colored Glazed Pottery (618-907) is one of the best types of ancient Chinese pottery and was often buried with emperors and nobles. Due to the continuous war, the development of porcelain in Yuan Dynasty was slow. However, with the emergence of blue and white porcelain and red underglaze porcelain, porcelain technology also had innovation.
In the blue and white porcelain of the Yuan Dynasty, we can find some unusual Chinese designs, which are full of decoration and colorful, combining some unusual Chinese shapes and decorative Chinese patterns. During the Yuan Dynasty, people used "lower glaze blue" and "lower glaze red" as decorations. The decoration is very patterned.
Before Yuan Dynasty, people had little choice in colors. Great achievements have been made in the production of colored glaze.
During Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), blue and white porcelain was the main product. During the years of Yongle, Xuande and Chenghua, blue and white porcelain reached its peak. Yongle Xuande years of porcelain, glaze fine thick, diverse patterns, rich modeling. As for the reign of the Chenghua Emperor, it was also delicate, but lighter in color, combined with Chinese ink painting. In the late Ming dynasty, under the rule of Jiajing, Longqing and Wan Li, blue and white porcelain was very popular.
During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), great progress was made in blue and white porcelain, which attracted worldwide attention. In Qing Dynasty, the Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong period, porcelain is the most famous.


Famous Porcelain Production Area
China's famous porcelain production areas include Jingdezhen in Jiangxi, Liling in Hunan, Dehua in Fujian, Shiwan in Guangdong, Tangshan in Hebei and Zibo in Shandong. Blue and white porcelain, blue and white rice pattern porcelain, powder doped color decorated porcelain and colored glaze porcelain are known as the "four great porcelain". Besides these, there are some other special features, such as statue China, eggshell China and five-color China.


China's Porcelain Capital -- Jingdezhen Porcelain
Jingdezhen, located in Jiangxi Province, is known as the "porcelain capital of China". The Chinese writer Guo Moruo once said, "the best porcelain in the world is in China, and the best porcelain in China is in Jingdezhen." Jingdezhen is literally synonymous with Chinese porcelain. The ceramic industry in Jingdezhen experienced a long development process.
Jingdezhen has a ceramic production history of more than 1,800 years since the eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 years), and more than 1,600 years since the eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420 years). During the Five Dynasties (907-960), Jingdezhen was the first place in south China to produce white porcelain and made great achievements. They were called "white as jade, bright as a mirror, thin as paper and loud as a stone".
Jingdezhen has more than 3,000 types of pottery, including artistic porcelain, household porcelain and porcelain ornaments, of which bone China is the most famous. Blue and white porcelain, rice color porcelain, powder enamel and color porcelain are the four major porcelains produced in Jingdezhen.
The history of porcelain carving in Jingdezhen can be traced back to more than 1400 years ago. Sui Dynasty (584-618) had statues of auspicious animals such as lions and elephants.
Porcelain from Jingdezhen began to be introduced to Europe in the 17th Century and can be seen in many large museums today. In addition, Jingdezhen has become China's most important porcelain production area and the most famous destination of Chinese porcelain culture, also known as the "living museum of Chinese porcelain".


Porcelain in Western World
Chinese porcelain was highly valued in the west and the Islamic world, even as Europeans discovered how to reproduce it in the 18th Century. The art is exotic, brightly colored, durable and relatively inexpensive.
After the Mid-18th Century, Europeans had learned to make high-quality porcelain, but Jingdezhen porcelain remained popular for its high quality and relatively low cost until the late Qing Dynasty and the following years. In 1712, a Jesuit visited Jingdezhen. He sent a letter explaining how to make it. The letter was widely read and helped the production of porcelain in Europe.

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